ISLAMABAD    -   The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Capital Development Authority Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan on Tuesday visited on-going projects of PWD underpass and Korang Bridge on Islamabad Highway.

During his visit to the projects, Member National Assembly Raja Khurram Nawaz was also present. The concerned officials of CDA have briefed Ali Nawaz Awan about the progress made on the projects so far.

He stressed upon the CDA officials to timely complete both of the projects and said that he himself will regularly visit the project sites. He said the projects were need on the hour as thousands of vehicles passed through this specific area of the road and they are forced to face traffic congestion issue in routine. The Capital Development Authority is executing both of the aforementioned projects under Public Sector Development Program and tender for this project is awarded to Maqbool Associates—a construction company which was also deployed on Peshawar BRT Metro Project.

Meanwhile, CDA also issued a press release in which it has been claimed that the civic authority is rapidly moving ahead with construction of PWD underpass.

The construction machinery which was moved to the construction site a few days back is busy with excavation work with full pace. Up till now eighty per cent excavation work on eastern loop has been completed while excavation work on western loop is also in full swing resulting in completion of around 20 per cent work.

Along with round the clock excavation work, the Authority is in contact with service providers including IESCO, SNGPL etc. for shifting of their installations at the earliest so that construction work gets further pace.

The press release further stated that CDA is following the directions of Chairman CDA, who is monitoring the progress on the project constantly to ensure its early completion.

Construction of PWD underpass is part of comprehensive strategy of the incumbent CDA administration to uplift infrastructure and to develop long neglected residential sectors in Islamabad. Islamabad Expressway is among most important arteries of Islamabad with massive traffic load of urban, intercity and inter provincial traffic. In order to cater increasing traffic burden and facilitate population in the adjoining areas, work on PWD underpass has been started. Construction of underpass at PWD is being constructed as part of comprehensive Islamabad Expressway Signal Free Corridor project.

A 9km long stretch of Islamabad Expressway from Gulberg Interchange to GT Road at Rawat is a picture of neglect as a series of potholes and craters have turned it into a permanent nuisance for road users.

In its last year in power, the PML-N earmarked about Rs10 billion for completion of the signal-free corridor, however, the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had excluded the project from the Public Sector Development Programme.

On the other side, CDA also remained uninterested in completing the project as it is evident from the fact that it keeps changing the modes to complete the project.

Once CDA was exploring the option to develop Islamabad Expressway with the help of private housing schemes in the area, then it wrote to the federal government for permission to complete the project with its own resources. 

According to an approved plan, in the second phase, the highway was to be expanded from Koral to Naval Anchorage – a 5km stretch in first package – while the 7km distance from Naval Anchorage to GT Road in Rawat is in the second package. It was decided that the existing four lanes from Koral Interchange to GT Road would be increased up to eight lanes by adding two rigid lanes and rehabilitating the flexible lanes. Three bridges – at Korang, Bhinder and the Railway stop – were also a part of the approved project in addition to the service roads.